|PO Box 128/575 State Route 250 N, Savannah OH 44874 Office: (419) 962-1515|
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|Personal Greeting - Joe Keim||Financial Update|
|Projector & Generator||Postage Stamps for the SonLight Club|
|Update on the Amish Families in Fredericktown||MAP Work Day|
|Some More Faithful Volunteers||A Thank You Note from Tina (MAP Secretary)|
|Leaving the Amish||Eli Writes from Canada|
|PO Box 128/575 State Route 250 N, Savannah OH 44874 Office: (419) 962-1515|
|Personal Greeting - Joe Keim|
It is that time of the year again when we get to update you on all the things that God is doing through the MAP Ministry. As God continues to bless the ministry it becomes harder and harder to get everything on a 8-1/2 x 14 sheet. We hope that you will find this (even larger) update a great blessing.
In our last newsletter we shared some of the financial struggles that the MAP Ministry was going through and before we say more we would like to just say thank you ever so kindly for praying and giving. We were all so encouraged to see that God’s family is still very much interested in taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. Thank you for believing in us and the MAP Ministry. We are constantly looking and asking God to help us spend His money wisely. You are always welcome to ask for a detailed expense report from our treasurer if you would like. This can be done by contacting our treasurer, Judy Williams at email@example.com. In the box below we list the ministry’s income and expenses since Jan 1, 2004. The income amount does not include the $8100 grant money that was given to us for the Donation Center upgrade.
Total Income & Expenses for January 1, 2004 through June 30, 2004
INCOME……..$37,758.26 EXPENSES……..$44,458.01 (DEFICIT)……..-$6,699.75
We were very excited when we received the good news that a church from Bedford, OH voted to take the MAP ministry on for support. That makes 24 churches now that support the MAP Ministry. Please pray that others would come on board.
|Projector & Generator|
For a number of years we had seriously considered buying a video projector but when it came right down to actually buying one we just couldn’t justify the cost. Well, last month we received a $1600 grant check from our Electric Company to go and buy a projector as well as a generator to run it with. Since we bought it 3 weeks ago there has not one week gone by that we have not used it. The generator allows us to run the projector in Amish homes where there is no electricity. It is being used for teaching and counseling purposes. We will also be able to use the projector to actually show our supporting churches some of the people we have been working with.
|Postage Stamps for the SonLight Club|
Next we would like to share a very special ministry highlight with you. In June one of our supporting churches from Akron, OH had their annual VBS and all the boys and girls raised postage stamp money for the Sonlight Club. The boys bought homemade stamps with their pennies and pinned them on one wall while the girls bought homemade stamps and pinned them on the opposite wall. All week long the competition was on and at the end of the week the girls came out the winners. They raised a total of $350 to help buy real postage stamps for Bible lessons. It was an honor and a privilege for our family to be part of the last night of Vacation Bible School meetings. We were able to share with the children what God can do through a person regardless of their age. Thank you boys and girls for your faithful and hard work. Since January—64 Sonlight Club students have written to tell us that they asked Jesus to save them.
|Update on the Amish Families in Fredericktown|
In our last newsletter we had briefly mentioned that there were some Amish families in a community about 40 minutes south of us who were excommunicated from the church because of the stand they took for their faith in Christ. At this point we would like to update you on some of the things that have taken place over the past two month. We would like to say this though—Not one person desires to take any credit...All glory to God!
The photo on the right has Sam, Laura and their family in it and on the left you have Levi and his family (Levi’s wife was killed in a buggy accident 5 years ago). Underneath the smiles and joyful faces there are many hurts and pains over family and friends forsaking them for their faith in Jesus Christ. The Amish church looks at them as promise breakers, people with a strange beliefs, and people to deceiving to talk with. Since their excommunication from the church most all of the family members have given their lives to Christ.
On May 31, nine people were baptized in a local pond. At this time we would like to say, it is never easy for an Amish Born Again Believer to get baptized the but when it happens it means that they have determined to move ahead for Christ and leave the traditions of men behind. As you can see in the photo’s below Dean Myers and myself teamed up together and shared the joy of baptizing these new converts. There were about 40-50 other people there for this blessed occasion.
Right before we went into ministry full time Esther and I had gone to a missionary school for one whole week. It was during that week that one of the pastors brought out that a scriptural missionary is one who follows the example that Paul followed in book of Acts. Whenever Paul would start a church he would stay there long enough to help the body of believers become structured and organized. After a certain amount of time he would move on and start another church and then another. I was never able to forget that message although I never thought it would happen through us. But, on June 9th we held our first church service at Sam and Laura’s house. Since then we have been meeting at Levi’s home for two services on Sunday and a prayer meeting on Wednesday night. For me it has been so great to look into the scriptures and study the pattern and scriptural commands given by God for the local church. Best of all, I then get to teach it to a group of people who have sold out to Christ much like the early church.
Vernon & Mary Ann (on the left) both got saved about 8 years ago. Four weeks ago the Miller family started coming to our church services and everything seemed to be going along smooth except that their relatives and church bombarded them on a constant basis. Because of the fear of excommunication from the church and then not being able to communicate with family anymore, they went back to the Amish church last Sunday. We all figure it is best if we just give them over to God. The Bible tells us 1st Cor 3, our job is to plant and water—God gives the increase.
Joyce, a former Catholic has also been coming very faithfully. Several weeks ago she wrote the Catholic church and asked them to remove her from their membership. Last week she wrote a short testimony via email one day. We asked her if we could share it with you and she said it would be OK.
Joyce writes—Esther, I'm soooooooooo joyful. I've never felt this way before in my whole life. I just got back from the Christian Store across the street and have my bible with a zippered cover and everything. Right now, I feel so sorry for all the people who don't feel this way. I know this high won't last but I know I will be joyful forever even in the midst of problems and disappointments. I feel so on track in my life now that I know to go to the bible for answers instead of the church. I told Joe, I keep questioning myself why I drive so far for church, bible study and prayer meeting. All I know is, that is what my heart is telling me and I believe God is working in my heart so I am following Him. I won't get to see my other friends much anymore (even though they are still my friends) as we don't have our beliefs in common any longer. My whole life and heart is now with Jesus and other like believers. Love, Joyce
Our family (with a blessing from our home church) has made a covenant with these families that for the next 2-3 years we will do our best to help them become organized and established as a local church.
Sam has already expressed a desire to prepare for ministry. Lord willing he would like to eventually become pastor of this church. Please pray for the 2-3 other Amish families in the area who seem to be open to joining the group sometime along the way.
|MAP Work Day|
We would like to recognize six friends from Maranatha Bible Church who drove all the way from Southern part of Ohio to help us with some MAP projects. Some of the guys helped us build walls in our basement, while others painted the MAP office, organized the Donation Center and helped Tina with the mailings. Thanks so much to all of you for your hard labor and care. It was so very much appreciated by all of us. We might mention that some other churches from the home area are also working with us right now to come and help with the work here at the MAP Ministry. It makes a great missions project for any size or age church group.
|Some More Faithful Volunteers|
In our last newsletter we shared had some photos of people who have invested a lot of hours and days into the Sonlight Club and Voice of the Amish publication. Here again we have some photos of volunteers who have gone out of their way to help us get the message of truth and hope to the people we are trying to reach. These volunteers all work out of their home and are more precious then gold to us. They work hard and faithfully and never ask for a dime! I am reminded of MATTHEW 6:19-20 where it says...LAY NOT UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES UPON EARTH, WHERE MOTH AND RUST DOTH CORRUPT, AND WHERE THIEVES BREAK THROUGH AND STEAL: BUT LAY UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES IN HEAVEN, WHERE NEITHER MOTH NOR RUST DOTH CORRUPT, AND WHERE THIEVES DO NOT BREAK THROUGH NOR STEAL:
Mary (pictured above) has been working on an awards program that we are putting together for the Sonlight Club students. It is being set up in a way that the student can earn points for every coarse they finish, book report they do, etc. Every time a student reaches a certain amount of points they receive an award. The more points they get the greater and more valuable the awards become. Mary has done an outstanding job in putting this whole program together. She has been helping us for over a year by sending out first time lessons and then recently we helped her get her own Bible Club started. In an email she writes the following testimony…
Mary Writes...I got a response from a 10 yr. old girl this wk.! Of course, I'm pretty excited about that. I believe there are many more out there that are just waiting to be reached. What's so great, is that the Lord knows exactly where they are , even now! Oh, what a JOY it is to have the privilege to reach them with the gospel through this ministry!!! Praise the Lord, He is so good!! Well, I better sign off, or I'll get so excited, I won't get my laundry done, etc.!!! :) In Christ, Mary
By the way, it may bless your heart to know that Debbi, Brenda, Rachel, Rosa and Mary all work from their homes in Missouri.
|A Thank You Note from Tina (MAP Secretary)|
We want to especially thank Janet Wiseman and The Ladies Missionary Class that faithfully sends stamps every month to the MAP Ministry. They took us on as their missionary group and we thank God for their faithfulness to us.
|Leaving the Amish|
Over the past two month we have had quite a few young folks & families come to the door for help with clothing needs, a place to stay, social security cards, drivers licenses, jobs, etc. At times it becomes somewhat overwhelming. If you are on the ministry’s email prayer line you will remember that we requested prayer for the social security card problems that we have been facing. Please continue to pray. We appreciate the advise and help that some of you offered to us. We have been talking to an Attorney, State Representative and Social Security Officials and hopefully we will be able to get somewhere before long. We appreciate all that Joyce Mink has done in helping us with this frustrating part of the ministry. Today, if a person does not have a SS number by age 12 it is next to impossible to get one.
For awhile now we have had three of these young people living in our basement. The others are living with former Amish friends in the area. Levi, (pictured in the cowboy hat) had just barely gotten his drivers license before leaving for Kansas. Soon after he got to Kansas he landed a job working for a wheat harvesting crew. One day as he was hauling his brand new combine to Texas his trailer wheels went off the side of the road and the combine ropes snapped and the brand new combine went rolling. The insurance company forced the farmer to fire poor Levi. The good news about Levi—right after he had left the Amish we helped him get his SS card and then took him up to the Donation Center for clothing, etc. We do not allow any person to go through the Donation Center without taking a Bible, the Plan of Salvation in Dutch tape and some other literature to help them spiritually. While in Kansas he listened to the tape and recognized his lost condition before God and he told us on the phone a couple days later that he was not able to sleep until he had cried out to Jesus for salvation. He was so excited!
|Eli Writes From Canada|
Joe & others in MAP, As I muse about the time I left the Amish, I wish there was a place where troubled youth and older people too, could go to find guidance and counseling during the time of decision. There are some who have left the Amish and would have been better off staying for at least a while. Also, the academic skills of Amish now are very limited as they are educated in their own schools and trained in a very narrow area of job skills. This makes it harder than ever to leave and adjust successfully. The need is obvious and the resources are few.
MAP is an ongoing burden on my heart and in my prayers as it has enormous potential for reaching Amish. I feel God will bring them out in large numbers without great effort on our part. This is not necessarily a word from the Lord, only a strong feeling that has persisted with me for a while.
My dream for MAP or any other such outreach would be a farm setting where troubled Amish who are searching for truth could do something with their hands that they are familiar with while they make the decision and get some grounding on the basics of the WORD. Imagine being an Amish youth experiencing serious doubts about Amish teaching, yet having no place to go and get a job, SS number, training, or spiritual guidance. There is no doubt this facility would draw the ire of the established Amish communities everywhere, but the word would soon get around and we would see a lot of people come knocking on the doors. Blessings Eli
Dear MAP Ministry, Greetings in Our Precious Saviors Name. My husband and I came out of the Amish 3 years ago and we accepted Christ into our hearts. We’d like to help with this ministry so more Amish can be lead to the truth and out of bondage. May God richly bless this ministry so the Amish can accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. My husband’s family all left the Amish, but I am the only one out of my family that left. I pray for them daily and am trying to be a witness to them. I was wondering if I write their names and addresses down, would the MAP Ministry start sending them letters.
Yes, Chester & Lydia, we will do that. We understand exactly what you are going through. We know what it is like to pray for our families to come to the knowledge & acceptance of Jesus Christ, our Savior and be set free from traditions and bondage, have all our sins forgiven, name written in the Lambs Book of Life and belong to God’s eternal family.